|Date:||06/02/2012 (OOC Date)|
|Orchard — Braeburn Manor|
|Early blossoms, 280|
It is without a doubt certain that the orchards are one of the finest features of the Braeburn manor holding. The apple trees are rich and sweetly floral as pale blossoms erupt in scattered patterns among the thick branches, so full and lush and green, heralding the coming of fruit in the next few months. Near as tall as a few of the trees, Tommas casts a long shadow in the late afternoon light, still dressed in his guardsman uniform from a recent duty at the gates. The patter of his feet soft amidst the thick grass as he looks this way and that along the trunks of the trees.
Nearby, in one of the clearings where the branches and blossoms allow for a broader circle of sunlight, there's a tall, slender blonde woman… very intent on tying a hinged, rectangular box to a three-legged stand — perhaps the bottom part of an easel. She is, apparently, having some difficulty getting it to sit straight and wind the twine at the same time. At one point she nearly has it, and then the whole thing lists sharply to the left. With a high-pitched yelp of alarm, she dives to catch the box, more or less face-planting, but making the save. So it comes to this: Day, sprawled with her face in the grass, the precious box held just an inch or so above the ground in her outstretched arms. And a single, distinct, unmistakable word: "Fuck."
So face down in the grass as she is, Tommas's shadow spreads over her figure like a blanket before he reaches when she lays sprawled. Large and looming as it is. "Mistress?" He greets, hesitantly polite as a man might be to find a cursing, prostate woman before them in any circumstance. "Are you alright?"
"Ah," the woman mumbles into the dirt. The box is carefully placed on the ground and she comes up to her knees, brushing grass and dirt from her smock as she squints a baleful eye at the sky. "Of course that couldn't go unwitnessed. You're hilarious. Really." Then, turning her attention to Tommas, she blinks, looking up. And up. And up. Her eyebrows knit upwards, a bit confounded at the height and breadth of him. "You're very large," she observes, then holds her hands out, palms up. "Hands," she requests.
Tipping his chin upwards, Tommas follows the blonde woman's gaze towards the sky with a rather baffled squint. Yes, that's the sky… "Are you well, Mistress?" He wonders, a bit wryly as he looks down at her. Bemused, he offers her his massive hands with his palms face up to the sky. His fingertips are a bit dirty and his palms are calloused from years of hard work and weaponry.
This pleases her. She smiles brightly. "Oh, good. They're huge." She nods at him, climbing to her feet. "You'll do. Hold this?" She hands him the hinged box. "Carefully."
Tommas blinks back at her, offering a lopsided smile in return. The box is taken without question, big hands folding over it — carefully, as instructed. "Mistress, who are you?" He wonders, moving as he's instructed.
She glances at the sky again, starts a bit as though noting the time — late! Late, late late! — and hurries about setting the three-legged stand up again. She works briskly and cheerfully, despite her apparent hurry. "I'm Day," she tells him, offering up another bright smile before looking down at her work again. "Who are you? Loose leg," she sighs over the state of the stand, which does display a slight wobble. "Shit." Another glance up at the sun, then the goes about wrapping the leg in twine and hitching it up closer to the base.
"I'm not a loose leg, Mistress Day," Tommas replies easily, a slow smile warming his features and crinkling the corners of his eyes. "Or if I am that is never a name I've heard before," he drawls with a slow chuckle. He stands complacently holding the box, watching the slender woman dart and hurry about the stand. "Tommas Belte. Guardsman here."
She straightens and gives the stand a little nudge. His claim makes her blink at him. Twice, owl-eyed. "No," she agrees with a smirk, once her brain catches up — or slows down — enough to process that. "You look as though you're exceptionally well-constructed. Lacking a third leg, but you can't have everything. Could you put the box here, please?" She points at the base top of the stand. "There's a little hole in the bottom that goes on this peg — I'll need you to hold it absolutely straight and steady while I tie the whole contraption together." She pauses, then adds, "I'll endeavor not to tie you to it, as well."
"Am I?" Tommas, that nearly naughty. He blinks with a pleasant smile, not so crass to make that joke with a lady of whatever rank in his presence. There's a nod as he moves to follow her instructions, hands on the outside edges of the box as to not obstruct the binding of whatever she is making with such pointed feminine functionality. "Like this?" He asks, straightening the box in his hands. "I'd appreciate that, Mistress. I don't feel we know each other near enough well for you to be wanting to leave me in the orchard like a scarecrow. What is this you're making?"
"In juuuuuust a moment," says Day, criss/crossing twine back and forth, over the box and under the base of the stand, "I'll show you." She flicks a curious glance up at him. "Are you saying it's possible to know you well enough to leave you tied up in an orchard?"
Her criss-crossing hands are enough to make a man dizzy, so Tommas opts to watch her features instead. Which means she catches him looking at her with that glance upwards, expression pleasant as he raises his brows. "Certainly. Not without reason or an unfavorable pint, though. I'm sure Dom'd consider it if he had a good enough idea for sommat."
"In that case, it's quite probable I would as well," says Day, dimpling and mischievous. She ties off the twine, pulls a small (sharp) knife from her belt, cuts it deftly, and steps back. "All right, then," she glances up at the sky one more time. She replaces the knife in its sheath, then gently shoos his hands — her own hovering a moment until she's sure the whole contraption is steady. Satisfied, she lifts the hinged portion of the top, letting light into the box — and on the trunk of the tree opposite them appears a perfect disc of light about the size of a tea saucer. There are a few dark spots on it, clustered to the lower left, not as bright as the rest. Occasionally, a small portion of the edge will shift, shimmer, then resolve into focus. "There."
"Then I had best hope that you two don't get your minds together for something," Tommas admits with a sigh. His big paws are shooed away, falling down by his sides as he peers at the contraction and the light. "Pretty. So what does it do?"
Day tilts her head, squinting critically at the image. "It's called a camera obscura. It projects images. Right now, it's showing us the sun."
Tommas tips his head at the image, scratching at his jaw as he stares at it for a long moment. "Why wouldn't you just look up at the sun? It's right there."
"Because the sun's too bright to see it properly. You can't see these, for instance," Day says, pointing to the darker spots. "Or that," she quickly shifts her finger to a spot where the edge shimmers. "Also, if you look at the sun directly for too long, you'll damage your eyes. Possibly even blind yourself."
To his credit, the big man does try to note all the differences that her fingers point out, following them with a narrowed gaze. "If you say so, I don't find much need for looking at the sun. So long as it does what it's supposed to while I do what I'm supposed to, I'm content with my relationship with sun," Tommas admits cheerfully.
Day sighs, frowning a bit in thought. "You're right. She probably won't see the point. I should have it do something amusing before going on about eclipses and the human eye." She brightens. "This, perhaps?" She stands facing away from the box and bends backward until she's looking into it upside down. Instead of the sun, the box now projects an image of Day's face. Right side up, in ghostly black and white. She crosses her eyes and sticks out her tongue.
"She?" Tommas queries, raising his brows at Day. Frowning in confusion, he watches as she bends backward to stick her face into the box and then somewhat reluctantly looks towards the tree. He startles at the sight of her face against it, cast in ghostly pallour, with a low, "Hells! What?"
Laughing, Day stands straight and her image is abruptly replaced by the far-less-startling disc of the sun. "It's just light and mirrors," she assures him. "You should see what the maesters at the Citadel are able to do. Looks like magic, but it's just the world as the Seven made it."
Still wide-eyed, Tommas shakes his head and scratches a finger across the broad plane of his nose as he looks back to Day. Upright and straight, he finally gets a good look at the pendant hanging freely around her throat. "You're the Septa come for the little lady, aren't you? I'm a simple man Septa, I don't try to unravel their mysteries," he admits, a touch dry with amusement.
"That would be me," Day owns, smiling and planting her hands on her slender hips. "It's very nice to meet you, Mister Belte. Thank you for your help, by the by." She sighs and stretches, watching the image begin to slip out of frame, no longer quite centered as it was, blocked by the fluttering shadow of leaves. "She's quite clever, your young lady. Clever and canny and, I'm afraid, already a little jaded by what the world expects of her." She links her fingers at the nape of her neck, eyes still on the shifting image on the trunk of the tree. "So my job is to be magical. Magical enough, at least, to keep her attention."
"Call me Tommas," he offers with a grin, politing giving the Septa a short, polite bow. "Wasn't much, Septa. I was happy to help." Rising upright, he scratches his fingers along the back his head and raises a shoulder in a shrug. "The little lady is a lady, they need to be clever. Our little lady is loveliest thing, sweet as a button once you know her. Loves a secret she does, although that's a secret between you and I, Septa." Tommas winks at Day, a bit of a grin twitching on his broad features.
Grinning back, the septa dips a little curtsy for the polite bow. "Then you must call me Day, please. I hate formalities among friends." She nods, sobering as she replies, "She does need to be clever. And more, well-educated. A noble lady needs to know thrice as much as any man, if she's to make a life that suits her. The world doesn't just give a woman the things it promises — it's not built that way. Noble marriage is a trap for the unwary. There's no way for her to slip the snare — the key difference is whether she's caught by the foot or the throat." She shakes her head a bit, as though banishes cobwebs or shadows. "We've met, the rosebud and I," she says, her smile returning. "She is a charming little beast. I'm afraid I'm as in love with her as everyone else. And I mean not to fail her."
"Aye. I can't say I know the like…but from the sound of it, tis whether like a good hunter she's got a knife on her in the preparation of that snare," Tommas suggests warily, hand settling at his own that hangs on his belt. The gesture isn't threatening nor violent, touch emphasing his words. "It sounds that you've got the right of it to do right by her, Se — Day." This earns her an approving smile from the big man, full and wide and warm as the afternoon light. To do right by the little lady is to do right by him, it seems.
Day returns the smile, reflecting warmth for warmth. "I'm glad she has you looking out for her, as well, Tommas." She purses her lips, glancing at the camera. "Well, I should probably lug this back to the house before it rains. Also, I missed lunch, and it's no use trying to draw up clever lesson plans on an empty stomach."
Tommas looks over at the camera and raises his brows at Day. She had enough trouble getting it set up in the first place, much less carrying it back. "Would you like me to carry it for you?"
"Oh!" Day says, frowning a little. "It's. Well. Are you headed that way?"
"Aye. Near enough, I was looking for the kit…but it's up to some mischief today," Tommas admits amiably. Without further askance, he bends and gently scoops up the contraption in his arms, careful of the twine that binds it together. "Hopefully he's not got into the nests again."
"Protector of ladies, finder of kittens, assembler and porter of camera obscura," Day lists, glancing sidelong — and up — at Tommas as she falls into step beside him. "You're a man of many talents." A beat. "With or without a third leg." This time, delivered with a wicked flash of a grin that might be characterized — were it not from a septa — as lascivious, there's no question she noted his earlier comment. Nor is she ignorant of its meaning.
"Well, this kit is actually a fox — although I can't deny the claims otherwise," Tommas admits with a rumbling laugh, feet beginning the way back to the manor at Day's leisure. "My ma always said that if ever there was something that had need be of me carrying or hitting a thing, I was the the man to be doing it. Like a mule, she said." He catches that edge of a wickedness to her grin, his laughter rolling from a rumble to a friendly boom that shakes his shoulders.
Day smiles broadly, delighted at the laughter, joining it easily. "I can only imagine that if a kitten of the feline variety were lost, or up a tree, you would be the man riding to the rescue. Will you join me for lunch?"
Well, there's really not much he can do to disagree to that. So Tommas doesn't, grinning back her boyishly. "Aye. Never was there a kitten that needed a bit of saving that I could resist its wee mewls for aide nor a doing that I wouldn't do, need it be done." Pausing, he adjusts the lay of the magic box in his arms, looking over at her with bright eyes. "I'd like that. So long as you promise not to startle me with your magic again, Day. I have enough from wee Dominick doing that."
"Oh, no promises on that account," Day laughs, shaking her head. "But I do promise to try and not catch you with your mouth full. It would be a sad thing indeed for the ladies and kits if we lost you to a poorly timed sleight-of-hand and a bit of cheese in the windpipe."
Tommas sighs in a patiently put-upon fashion, playfully rolling his eyes towards the sky as in a silent plea to the seven. "I didn't think so. I couldn't get him to promise the light, neither." He's resigned to his fate. "Well, if you be sure to write me something pretty…it'll impress what ladies might be sad."
Day snrrks mirthfully and links her arm through Tommas'. "Fie. Better I sing your praises while you're living, don't you think? That way you can make the ladies happy."
"I think you singing some of my happy praises might find me with a slap from some of the local ladies, Septa," Tomas notes with grand amusement. The pair continue their banter through the blossoming path of the orchard and likely over lunch as well.